Walking into the room, I’m a little nervous. I bite my lip and glance about to see if those available might, perhaps, be suitable for me. In the corner? Too old looking. By the window? Too white. Maybe there on the left? Too flashy. But wait….straight ahead….could it be? A perfect match for me? I hold my breath…..kneel down….and find my shoe size. YES!!
I’m sure some people love shopping for shoes and I’m sure some people love dating. I can’t say I’m a fan of either (although since I haven’t dated in nearly 20 years, I can only say that I remember not loving it). Buying shoes is extremely difficult for this big-footed woman. Since I began running, I’ve only purchased men’s running shoes because I can find a pair that will fit me in nearly any shoe store. But last week, I said “To hell with that!” I wanted a pair of cute or at least fun-looking shoes. I heard that the New Balance outlet in Skowhegan had larger shoe sizes for women, so off I went.
The choices were still extremely limited. After talking with the salesperson, I found about 4 pairs that would be ok, narrowed it down to 2 pairs and ran to the cash register. This was going to happen. (Jumping up and down now!) I was going to have my very first pair of *women’s* running shoes! I know this shouldn’t be that exciting, but for this giant chick, it was a first. This felt like the first time I bought a size 10 dress after having worn a size 24. I felt….feminine, pretty. Not something I feel all that often, but it felt good.
Now that the fun part was over, it was time to try these babies out for real. “Meeting” my shoes for the first time and taking them for a quick run around the store was one thing, but bringing them home for some quality running time was something entirely different.
“Blue”: Good looking, very stable, comfortable. Couldn’t wait to go out with ’em. At first, things were decent. Everything felt new, yet comfortable. But 5 minutes into this “date,” and things started feeling not so good. Pain in my feet, left leg feeling heavy. Is it me? Did I do something wrong? Or is it Blue? Just stick with it, I told myself. Remember the Mizunos from last year? They felt just like this and those sweethearts got me through Holly’s Half. Things are bound to get better.
The next day I gave Blue another try. Same exact results, but didn’t get worse. Now what?
See those cuties on the right-hand side of the photo? The ones with the lovely purple N and the spunky green shoelaces? There was no doubt that they looked good…but would they feel good?
I gave “Spunky” a whirl on Friday morning. Oh gosh….things heated up fast from the get-go! My entire body felt light and springy and beautiful and I ran my fastest 5K in over a year. It was delicious.
But….this morning I decided to give Blue one more try. I wanted to go a little further this time, really see what will happen. I don’t always want just fast, but endurance. I want something for the long haul, you know? At the start, things were comfortable as usual, but I waited for the pain to begin. After a half mile…nothing. One mile? Still good. Two? Great! I turned around and headed back towards home, smiling, hoping this would continue.
And it did.
So now, do I give up Spunky and stick with good ole stable Blue?
Or do I shove Blue in a closet until I’ve worn down the gorgeous Spunky to just a pair of laces?